The Green Card system

The Green Card system is a protection mechanism for victims of cross-border road traffic accidents consisting of 48 member countries represented by 47 National Insurers' Bureaux

Stimulated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the system was founded in 1949 (on the basis of pdf icon Recommendation No. 5 adopted by the Working Party on Road Transport of the Inland Transport Committee) in order to facilitate cross-border traffic.

Twofold objective:

  1. Facilitating the crossing of borders = To avoid the need for motorists to obtain insurance cover at each of the frontiers of the 48 member countries. The motorist is released from the obligation of taking out a national insurance contract at the border if possessing a Green Card.
  2. Facilitating claims settlement = To ensure that Third Party victims of road traffic accidents are not prejudiced by the fact that injuries or damage sustained by them were caused by a visiting motorist rather than a motorist resident in the same country.

Aim of the system = to have a Motor Third Party Liability (MTPL) Insurance policy of an insurance undertaking in country A recognised in country B

These objectives are achieved through the activities of the National Insurers’ Bureau (or Green Card Bureaux) established by Law or Regulation in each of the 48 countries participating in the system.


Who are the members of the system?


The guarantees provided for in the system are conditioned on the existence (for the vehicle involved in the accident) of a valid Green Card” issued by the National Insurers’ Bureau of the country of the vehicle or under that Bureau’s responsibility.


This Green Card at the same time provides a guarantee for the visited country B that the insurer of country A will reimburse according to the existing legislation and insurance guarantee limits of the visited country B.


What is the Green Card?


Did you know?

Every year, more than 400,000 accidents occur in Europe between motorists originating from different countries on the Green Card system. If you have an accident in your home country which was caused by a vehicle registered abroad, you can settle your claim via the Green Card system. You can address your claim to your National Motor Insurer's Bureau which will settle the claim according to your national legislation. In turn, it will exercise its recourse right against the insurer of the liable motorist.